Patterico's Pontifications

9/16/2017

Report: Trump Will Not Withdraw from Paris Climate Deal; UPDATE: Denied by White House

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:51 pm

Details at RedState.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

California To Become A “Sanctuary State” — But It Could Have Been Worse

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:30 pm

The concept of sanctuary cities has worked out so well — just ask the family of Kate Steinle! — that leftists have decided that the time has come to extend the concept to the entire state of California. The Los Angeles Times reports:

California lawmakers on Saturday passed a “sanctuary state” bill to protect immigrants without legal residency in the U.S., part of a broader push by Democrats to counter expanded deportation orders under the Trump administration.

The legislation by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), the most far-reaching of its kind in the country, would limit state and local law enforcement communication with federal immigration authorities, and prevent officers from questioning and holding people on immigration violations.

It does appear that the bill might not be as bad as the label “sanctuary state” would seem to suggest, however.

[T]he bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown drastically scaled back the version first introduced, the result of tough negotiations between Brown and De León in the final weeks of the legislative session.

. . . .

Officially dubbed the “California Values Act,” the legislation initially would have prohibited state and local law enforcement agencies from using any resources to hold, question or share information about people with federal immigration agents, unless they had violent or serious criminal convictions.

After talks with Brown, amendments to the bill made this week would allow federal immigration authorities to keep working with state corrections officials and to continue entering county jails to question immigrants. The legislation would also permit police and sheriffs to share information and transfer people to immigration authorities if they have been convicted of one or more crimes from a list of 800 outlined in a previous law, the California Trust Act.

The amendments, if true, complicate the life of the blogger who wants to do a simple post saying: THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! THE DAMNED LEFT WILL GET US ALL KILLED! The State of California may have dodged something of a bullet here. As you know if you have read me for any length of time, I’m not just going to take the word of the L.A. Times for anything. But I’ve looked at the language of the latest amendments, from September 11, 2017 (five days ago), and it does appear that Governor Brown significantly cut back on the most dangerous desires of Democrat senators.

Even with the recent amendments, I agree with the California State Sheriff’s Association that the bill as amended removes too much power from law enforcement to protect the public. The CSSA explains that the “bill does not allow for notification to federal authorities, at their request, of the pending release of certain wanted, undocumented criminals – including repeat drunken drivers, misdemeanor hit-and-run drivers and those who assault peace officers.”

The complaint of the California State Sheriff’s Assocation is accurate. The language of the latest amendments limits, to certain specified situations, the ability of law enforcement to 1) “provid[e] release dates . . . in response to a notification request from immigration authorities” and 2) transfer a person to immigration authorities. For cases where someone is held in jail for “[d]riving under the influence of alcohol or drugs” such notifications or transfers can occur “only for a conviction that is a felony.” Thus, ICE will not be notified of the release date of illegal immigrants who are repeat drunk drivers unless they are convicted of a felony. And in California, DUI defendants can be charged with misdemeanors until their fourth offense.

This is a real problem, because repeat drunk drivers cause a lot of deaths. In May 2007, I began a series called Deport the Criminals First which highlighted specific cases where illegal immigrants had come into contact with law enforcement before committing crimes of violence, but had not been deported. The victims I discussed were true casualties of our country’s immigration failures — because a working system of deportation would have saved their lives. And out of dozens and dozens of posts I wrote over the years about people victimized and killed by illegal immigrants, many of those people had been killed by illegal immigrants who were repeat drunk drivers.

I encourage anyone who might be in favor of a “sanctuary state” law to examine my “Deport the Criminals First” series of posts. Josef Stalin reportedly said: “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.” So I made sure each victim’s name was mentioned, and tried to find a picture of them if possible. Showing the actual victims of these crimes, I believed, was important, so that these deaths were not ignored as “statistics.” Instead, I hoped, each death could be viewed as the individual tragedy that it truly was.

The last such post I wrote was on July 4, 2015, and was about the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. I laid out in detail how Steinle (who bore an eerie resemblance to my youngest sister) was the victim of San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, as well as the incompetence of ICE in releasing the illegal to a known sanctuary city.

One Donald J. Trump took up the Steinle case and made it a cause célèbre of sorts, for which I believe he deserves credit. I never consciously thought about ending the series, but now that I think about it, I believe that Trump’s championing of Steinle’s case essentially meant that, as they say, “my work here was done.”

But Kate Steinle is not the only person who has died as a result of our dysfunctional immigration system. And if we adopt irresponsible “sanctuary city” and even “sanctuary state” policies as a matter of course, there will be more Kate Steinles.

As I say, we here in California may have dodged a bullet here. But the new law will probably cause people to be hurt or killed, though nowhere near as many as the original proposal. We must be vigilant, or more people will die.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Middlebury College: Violent Protestors Will Now Decide Who Speaks at Our Campus

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:00 am

This is the logical end point of the insanity we have recently witnessed across campuses nationwide. Middlebury College has announced an “interim” policy that enshrines the Heckler’s Veto, putting the power of who will speak at their institution in the hands of people who would threaten to disrupt events:

Interim Procedures for Scheduling Events and Invited Speakers

Until it is replaced or superseded, the following procedures will be in effect for all of Middlebury’s locations.

. . . .

4) In the event of a credible likelihood, based on prior incidents or current evidence, that an event is likely to be the target of threats or violence, the Threat Assessment and Management Team will conduct a risk assessment of the event, consulting with local law enforcement as needed, in order to advise the administration.

5) Representatives from Public Safety/Campus Security and Risk Management will review the risk assessment and determine resources or measures that might be necessary to ensure that the event can proceed without undue risk to the speaker and/or members of the community. This review will include a consideration of Middlebury Emergency Preparedness Plan and Emergency Operations protocols.

6) In those exceptional cases where this review indicates significant risk to the community, the president and senior administration will work with event sponsors to determine measures to maximize safety and mitigate risk. Only in cases of imminent and credible threat to the community that cannot be mitigated by revisions to the event plan would the president and senior administration consider canceling the event.

It all sounds so reasonable . . . until you think about what they’re saying. If they believe there will be violence, “based on prior incidents or current evidence” (i.e. threats of violence or previous incidents of violence), their response will not be to beef up security and promise arrests of anyone who tries to disrupt an event. It will be to “consider canceling the event.”

I understand the desire to maintain public safety. But let’s have some clarity here. When groups violently protest an an otherwise peaceful speech, public safety is threatened by the protestors, not the speaker. Yet not one word of the policy is devoted to warning people who threaten violence that there will be a crackdown on them. Instead, they announce ahead of time that they may punish the speaker and the people who want to hear the speaker’s message.

I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial or unfair when I point out that such a policy disfavors speech by conservatives, and favors speech by leftists. Every sentient observer of political life can see that these disruptions at college campuses are invariably carried out by leftists.

The worst thing about this is the incentive it creates to threaten and engage in violence. One thing the right finds frustrating about the left is the left’s seeming inability to understand the concept of incentives. What do you think leftists hear when you tell them that the more violence they threaten, and the more violence they engage in, the greater chance they have of getting a conservative speech cancelled? They hear this: if you threaten violence, and engage in violence, you will win.

I have always been in favor of more speech. (The First Amendment is one of the things in life that has never let me down!) When I went to school, there was a giant outcry when Meir Kahane came to speak. (Kahane was an ultra-orthodox rabbi who argued that Israel should follow Jewish law and be reserved for Jews. He was later assassinated by an Arab gunman.) Activists tried to get the speech cancelled, and stood outside and shouted at attendees on their way in. I wasn’t terribly interested in Kahane’s ideas, but I went — mainly to piss off the activists. I smiled at the shouting sign-wavers as I strolled by them, and felt that simply by attending and listening respectfully, I was doing something for the freedom of speech.

That is the attitude school administrators need to have. The greater the threat of violence, the greater the need to ensure that the show will go on. The solution is not to cancel a speech. The solution is to increase security, and to arrest anyone who tries to throw the event into chaos.

Why do schools not seem to understand this? I’ll leave that as a philosophical exercise for the reader.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


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